Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)
TITLE: An Ominous Night
By Scott Sheets
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What is that?
The weary intercessor conjoined his vision with the sound and captured a moonlit silhouette scurrying away.
Just a rodent. I wonder. Did I ever mend my net from that rat that got into it? I should really get a new net. That would be so nice out at sea…What am I doing?
The man’s rugged, callused hands massaged his weathered face. Concentrate. Concentrate. I’m supposed to be praying. His self-rebuke inflicted more guilt than attentiveness.
Almighty God, I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but please help us. This has been such a strange evening, and this night seems so different. The air feels so heavy…
Why is that? The air does feel thick. I don’t like it. What’s that smell? It’s almost like smoke. Oh, a fire would feel nice right now. A nice warm fire…
Weariness wore on the man’s eyelids and his facial strength waned under its force.
So tired…NO! I can’t. Concentrate. I have to pray.
Adonai, I don’t know what to pray. What’s going to happen?
Shivers coursed through the man’s flesh, their source undetermined. The evening chill stepped forward as a candidate, but the ominous atmosphere of the evening rose as a strong contender. The man curled his legs to his chest and spread out his wool cloak as a shield from the cold. The shivers ceased and the somniferous arrangement urged his weary flesh to yield, but he knew he mustn’t.
Concentrate. Stay Awake. I need to pray.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come…
When will Your kingdom come, Lord? When will You overthrow our enemies? Is that what will happen tonight?
My sword. I could use my sword…my sword…fight…enemy…
The crisp air failed to repel the insurgent slumber that conquered the weary flesh of the man. He ventured into the heroic feats of subconscious fantasy. There the pagan vermin were dispatched with a mere brush of his valiant blade and graze of his potent fist. But in the midst of his midnight reverie and contrived significance, reality raced toward the cusp of history and his permanent place in it.
The scent of smoke unequivocally distinguished the air now and the flaming torches from which it derived flickered in the distance through the foliage. An isolated, solemn figure approached the dormant intercessor.
"Are you still sleeping and resting?" the Divine Son rebuked. Simon Peter’s body jerked at the authoritative sound of his Master’s voice.
"Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up and let us be going; behold the one who betrays Me is at hand!"
The tone of disappointment in his Master’s voice penetrated Peter’s heart. Anguish filled his soul. He failed. He wanted to pray; he was just so tired.
Concentrate. I have to concentrate. I can’t fail Him again?
scripture from the NASB
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